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Allergies are becoming ever more prevalent these days. With these lunchbox ideas, you can send your kids to school feeling safe and healthy.
It was the summer before Lincoln started Kindergarten, when all of a sudden we put 2 and 2 together. He had allergies. Not the seasonal, everyone’s allergic to pollen kind – no the food kind. After a couple bouts of facial swelling, we got into our pediatrician who did a simple IGE blood test. While not conclusive until we see a specialist, that blood test pointed to almost all the top food allergies being a problem – Wheat, Milk, Cashews, and Sesame Seeds being the top offenders, but varying small ranges of Egg whites, peanuts, soybeans and walnuts as well.
What’s a Mom to do when getting her son ready for Kindergarten though? He desperately wanted to eat school lunch, but until we have everything narrowed down I’m packing his lunch from home. This way I know he’s safe and eating a healthy lunch. Thank goodness for these awesome products that are not only safe for him, but they offer him a fun treat each day too.
I’ve always been an advocate for kids with allergies and keeping them safe, I just never thought I’d be the mom of one, and with such a wide range of allergies too. After 2 weeks of packing lunches free of allergens, I wanted to share some ideas with you. Hopefully, this will help any other “new to allergy” moms find safe products for their kids without becoming overwhelmed.
Allergy Friendly Lunchbox Ideas
Coming up with protein for his lunch felt daunting at first. Normally these things go on bread, but to elminate all allergies, we’ve found they work well alone, and he still eats them.
- Rolled lunchmeats. Double check ingredients, especially on Bologna and Salami, as they may contain soy.
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Refried Beans
Fruits and Vegetables
While this one seems self explanatory, I’ve come up with fun ways to present the fruits and veggies so it’s not always the same.
- Fruit Smoothies. Use coconut milk or water to blend together. Freeze overnight, and by lunch, it will be perfect for drinking or eating.
- Green Smoothies. Add spinach, carrots, squash, and zucchini to the smoothie for a boost of veggies. Try this Cherry Berry Zucchini Smoothie and replace the yogurt with coconut milk.
- Fruit Salad
- Green Salad minus the dressing
Allergy Friendly Treats
I always like to include a little treat in my kids lunchbox. Call it a consolation prize for bringing home lunch, or a bribe to eat the rest of the food and still love me. When going through our snacks, I discovered just how many things have added, wheat, soy and milk ingredients.
- Popcorn. We love The Little Kernel Mini Popcorn. Even their butter and cheese flavors use a non-dairy substitute.
- Fruit Rolls and Snacks. Welch’s has always been my go to for fun snacking. Made with Fruit as their 1st ingredient always, they just came out with a Fruit Roll for more good snacking. If you’re looking for a more organic snack my kids love the Go Organically brand – in fact, it’s the only brand of fruit snack my oldest will eat.
- Beverages. While most kids are grabbing a chocolate milk, Lincoln can’t do that. So instead I’ve packed him fun drinks like AquaBall that is naturally flavored with Stevia and Brooklyn Organics Craft GingerAles for a slightly more special drink.
This I’m sure is just the beggining of our allergy friendly journey. I hope it eases your mind some if you are also just starting out. If you’re a long time allergy parent, I’d love some more ideas for allergy friendly lunchbox foods.